Wine stories

Words from winelovers

Words of a winelover from a holiday on Pelješac

Dear Adriatic Wines fans,

Quick greetings from the amazing Croatian peninsula of Pelješac!

It’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! So beautiful and magnetic, that many foreigners fell in love with it, moved and started growing their own wineries, vineyards and create superb wines. 65km long breath-taking nature, with almost 1000m highest mountain, crystal clear Croatian Adriatic sea, endless beeches (just Google it)! You can also enjoy the best windsurfing in Adriatic, Roman-times shipwreck diving, the best oysters in the world, harvest salt in ancient precious salt pans, or walk along the Ston’s protective wall rampart, 2nd only to the Great Wall of China!! Gorgeous Dubrovnik is just around the corner, just like the old city of Korčula, with Marco Polo’s birth palace. And I can continue forever… come and enjoy it for yourself!! 

But the food? AND THE WINE?!? On Pelješac everyone is in the wine business, (250 registered producers ?, including legendary inductee to the Vintner Hall of Fame, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich)! Very strong competition driving excellence, and there are so many vineyards everywhere. I personally love Pošip (white sort), but Pelješac’s signature wine is Plavac Mali. I once learned about a Romantic story about Californian & Croatian professors’ epic effort to solve the mystery of legendary Zinfandel origin, only to prove that autochthon Croatian sort Crljenak (Pribidrag) is the grandfather of both Zinfandel, Primitivo, and Plavac Mali. It took them years to genetically identify only a few weak, sickly trees, lost deep in the Dalmatian vineyards, among other, modern sorts – stolen from oblivion in the last seconds, and being revived with the help of the University and wine enthusiasts.

But coming back to Plavac Mali, probably the most famous and coveted micro-location in the whole Adriatic, are Postup and legendary Dingač slopes, (where also our dear Mr. Roglić proudly owns a few rows of grapevine). The wise man says that it’s owning its special bouquet and layers to a very special chemical combination and a mythical “triple insolation” (sun-bathing) of the grape: 1st directly from the Sun, 2nd reflected from the heated stones underneath, and 3rd reflected from the sea below! When you see those vineyards on the 45° suicidal-steep southside of the peninsula, you can imagine the effort to cherish it and pick it – not a surprise the cost, price, and quality are premium – truly a monument to a human toil, sacrifice, and passion!

No wonder our exceptional and carefully selected partners are managing to produce fantastic grape, create champion wines, and win the most prestigious global recognitions:

- Korta Katarina crafted, in their amazing vinery, silver Decanter for Pošip ’17, and 2 bronzes: for Plavac Mali Winemaker’s Selection ’12, and Reuben’s Reserve ’11!

- Skaramuća Pošip Elegance ’17 joined with silver Decanter, on top of bronze for Dingač Reserve ’15!

- And Saint Hills’s Dingač received from Wine Enthusiast 92 points for Plavac Sveti Roko ‘15, and an unbelievable 94 points for Dingač Sv. Lucija ’15, the highest Croatian wine ratings so far!!

By the way, the experts agree both 2020 grapes and wines will be of great quality! Due to COVID, tourist consumption slowed down, so new bottling is not in a hurry, longer maturing in oak barrels will enrich already fantastic layers. Use the opportunity to have such fantastic winemakers in your markets and portfolio – the start is always hard, especially with the COVID challenges, but “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” – let’s help our smart consumer across CEE to be able to acquire this nectar on their home tables, if not restaurants!

Unlike drug abuse, here I can proudly say: “Be smart – do start!” 😊 

Humble wine enthusiast,
Dario Mrvelj

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